Seaforth baboon shooting case heard in court

The case docket of a woman is to be heard in Simon’s Town Magistrate Court today, Tuesday September 26, after allegedly shooting three baboons, and killing one of them, that she claimed ransacked her home on Tuesday September 19, say police.

Simon’s Town police station commander Vishnu Pillay said the SPCA had opened a case and the woman faced charges of animal cruelty and unlawfully firing a gun in a residential area.

Captain Pillay said police were investigating after the woman reported the incident.

SPCA spokeswoman Belinda Abraham said they had pressed charges against the woman. However, only one dead baboon, a juvenile, had been recovered by the SPCA, she said.

An autopsy would be done to determine how many times it had been shot, she said.

Ms Abraham claimed the woman had previously threatened, on social media, to shoot baboons that entered her property, which had raised suspicions of intentional and premeditated action on her part.

Ms Abraham said the dead baboon had come from the Seaforth troop, a breakaway group of about 11 baboons originally from the Smitswinkel Bay troop.

She said there had been a “concerning” increase in injuries and fatalities among the troop members since the City had ceased monitoring activities in June.

Seaforth resident Ashleigh Olsen volunteers to warn traffic when the troop is on the busy Queens Road between Simon’s Town and Cape Point. “The City of Cape Town’s abandonment of the Seaforth troop due to limited resources has left them vulnerable,” she said.

The shooting of the baboon highlighted “the threat posed by intolerant residents”.

A draft baboon management plan, developed by the Cape Peninsula Baboon Management Joint Task Team, which is made up of representatives from SANParks, CapeNature, and the City, seeks to address these issues. We asked them for comment but they did not respond by deadline.

Beauty Without Cruelty SA spokeswoman Toni Brockhoven said: “While the powers that be continue to fiddle while Rome burns – two decades on and still all the same conversations are had about baboon-proof bins, waste management, traffic calming measures and other solutions – baboons are being demonised and targeted by irrational, angry residents who believe that wildlife should stop at the front gate.”